Keng Lye’s Resin Art at K+ Curatorial Space, Scotts Square, Singapore

Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts SquareAs part of my ongoing attempt to familiarise myself with a very-much-changed Singapore, I wandered into the K+ Curatorial Space (facebook) in Scotts Square (6 Scotts Road, Singapore) before a dinner meet-up.

It made my afternoon. There, under glass boxes, were pieces of resin art that were at once playful and awe-inducing.

Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Square

Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squareguppies and a goldfish? in takeaway plastic bags

Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Square Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squarekoi in beautiful containers, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squarea fighting fish in a glass bowl, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squarea whole school of orange fish, improbably, in a cardboard box, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squarelittle fish in an old leaf, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squareprawns – just look at his ability to portray translucency, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Square Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Square Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squareoctopii in crockery, Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Square Keng Lye's Resin Art at the K+ Gallery, Scotts Squareand the terrapin, fashioned with the help of Keng Lye’s children’s empty Kinder Surprise eggs.

Keng Lye‘s skill at rendering almost accurate simulacra of fish and seafood (oh, sorry, water creatures) was amazing enough. But the immense patience required to paint each layer before pouring more resin on and waiting 8 hours for it to dry before repeating the process, to create a 3-D effect, was almost beyond belief.

My favourite pieces were the octopus in a kopi cup, the small fish in the pointy leaf, and the single terrapin in a bowl. The price of this last one was S$7,500.

See also the layered resin paintings of Riusuke Fukahori, whom a friend had challenged Keng Lye to imitate.

Later at dinner, I rave to friends about this. “Oh, can he sculpt me a bowl of ah balling anot? One ball half-bitten with the peanut flowing out?” And they say Singaporeans lack inspiration.

*all photos were taken with the permission, nay the encouragement, of the curators

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Seafood in Stockholm

London -> Harwich -> Hoek of Holland -> Amsterdam -> Copenhagen -> Stockholm

Photograph Lisa Elmqvist, Östermalms Saluhalls, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
Fish and seafood everywhere at Lisa Elmqvist (Östermalms Saluhalls), but not a bite to eat, because I’d managed to hit lunch hour there.

Photograph Inlagd Sill, Lisa Elmqvist, Östermalms Saluhalls, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
Ingald sill (pickled herring) beautifully presented like a flower garden encased in aspic.

With my time in Stockholm running out, hopped over to another food hall, Hötorgshallen, for lunch instead.
Photograph Kajsas Fisk, Hötorgshallen, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
Across from where some Japanese were taking photos of bitty items on huge white crockery, was a long queue full of Swedish pensioners and shoppers at Kajsas Fisk. As I stood deciphering the blackboard menu, an older Chinese Swede nodded at me to join the line where a man was ladling out full bowls of steaming fish/seafood soup and topping them with generous scoops of sour cream.

Photograph Kajsas Fisk, Hötorgshallen, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Kajsas Fisk, Hötorgshallen, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
The heady wholesome smell set my stomach rumbling. I didn’t need to be told twice. This soup was good – hearty, full-flavoured, firm-textured; tasting of happy hot days by the sea rather than slimey seafood about to go off. As foil for the rich soup, knäckebröd, bread, butter, and sliced lettuce were free for the taking from a sideboard.

Photograph Kajsas Fisk, Hötorgshallen, Stockholm, Sweden by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
I sat elbow-to-elbow with other customers inhaling the stuff, and did not look up until the last drop. Amazed at the gift of taste.